Today was so nice. I bonded with the family. We had a very casual barbecue with impromptu grilled fish tacos that were ahhhmazing, perfectly toasted marshmallows that occasionally (thanks to my wonderful brother) got nudged directly into a pile of ashes, juicy grilled cherry tomatoes bursting out of their skins, and grilled pineapple.
The weather was gorgeous. I got some studying done. I got past the climax of the novel I've been reading (One Day, as noted in my Books page) and woah!! It totally caught me by surprise! I need an opinion on it.. I'm still digesting what happened.
I didn't even text anyone all day .. felt kinda nice!
I didn't barrage my best friend with randoms & pictures of tonight's tacos (though I should have!). I had a fleeting thought to text a roommate about DM business, but didn't want to unlock my phone. I actively didn't text this one kid who sucks at keeping in touch - being a guy is no excuse, jeez.
I was just thinking about how many types of people there are. Well duh, but think about your friends. You have different relationships with all of them! It's interesting.
My mind's been all over the place. I herald it to the maximum 7 1/2 hours sleep my body allows me. Can't explain it. At least I've felt more inspired in the kitchen.
We had these kinda hard mini ciabatta buns in the refrigerator. Instead of wasting them, I decided to make them into bread pudding! I have made bread pudding before .. with already eggy, buttery chunks of challah doused in more (browned) butter before soaking up a mixture of whole milk and eggs.
That time was for a birthday, and the bread pudding came out absolutely delicious. But this time around I wanted something a little lighter, more for daily consumption. I also wanted a different flavor profile. My mind was on orange, but it was hard to find recipes for orange bread pudding! Could you mix in the OJ sans curdling? What's a basic liquid to bread ratio? Would this even taste good?
So I made up my own recipe. It came out pretty well!
First, you make chunks of bread. I sliced the single rolls, and then ripped the chunks with my hands. I prefer a more rustic look, so I ripped, as opposed to neatly cubing. You can choose which you prefer.
Then, you brown a little butter (not too much) and pour it over the bread. Toss the bread so each piece gets coated.
Then the custard happens. Let the bread soak up the luxurious custard for 10 - 15 minutes. Then bake, until creamy and golden-brown crispy on the edges. Your house will smell amazing, and the orange zest will really pull through for a strong orange flavor.
Orange Bread Pudding
recipe by myself, Yatee. Note: the cinnamon does not add detectable flavor, but serves to enhance the other flavors.
- 9 cups cubed stale bread
- 4 Tb (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups milk (2% worked just fine for me)
- 1/4 cup orange juice (this will give a VERY orangey flavor; for a not so orange flavor, just substitute with milk)
- 1/4 tspn cinnamon
- 1/2 tspn vanilla
- zest of one large orange (I used a naval orange, it worked wonderfully)
- 1 cup sugar
- Brown the butter. Pour over the bread while it's hot, and toss bread quickly to coat each piece.
- Whisk the eggs. Add milk, orange juice, zest, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar.
- Arrange bread evenly in a lightly sprayed 13 x 9" pan. Pour custard evenly into pan, and press bread down to make sure each piece is soaking. Soak for about 10 minutes.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 - 45 minutes. The middle will not jiggle too much when done. If poked, the bread should not sink, or reveal any unbaked custard.
- Remove from oven. Let cool, or eat warm. Serve with vanilla ice cream or a glass of milk, if desired. Enjoy!